Nine hundred and eleven delegates at the Libertarian nominating convention in Orlando did not choose two term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson to be their presidential nominee on the first ballot Sunday at 11:55 am, as he received only 49 percent of the vote. Party rules require 51 percent of the vote, or 456 delegates.
On a second ballot, complete at 12:58 pm, Johnson was selected with 55 percent of the vote.
A separate vote will be taken later today for the vice presidential nominee, where Johnson is hoping delegates will choose former two term Massachusetts Governor William Weld as his running mate.
One of Johnson’s opponents, Cleveland Clinic anesthesiologist Marc Allan Feldman, had actually provided emergency medical care, along with Canada Libertarian Party leader Tim Moen, a firefighter and EMT, to someone not at the convention who was struck by a car on International Drive outside the Rosen Centre, where the nominating convention is being held all weekend. Feldman’s possibly life saving work, and his rather good stand up comedy at a final debate Saturday night, did not push him over the top. Feldman received only 7 percent of the vote.
Johnson’s two top competitors, former FOX News producer Austin Petersen and McAfee anti-virus creator John McAfee, received 21 percent and 14 percent of the vote, respectively, on the first ballot.
The Saturday night final debate was rather interesting visually, with five candidates on the stage.
From left to right: Dr. Feldman, short, funny, and Jewish, really is a gifted comic; former FOX associate producer Austin Petersen, young, good looking, and slick, came across as a professional sales person, like a high end realtor; Governor Johnson, who has the persona of a corporate or political team leader/pep squad leader; New Hampshire activist Daryl Perry, the most radical of the candidates, whose unusual features and long hair do make him look like a wild eyed anarchist; and John McAfee, whose sun damaged complexion, expensive suits, and heavy highlights make him look like a very wealthy person gone dissolute.
Among people not actually running for the nomination both performance artist Vermin Supreme, who was in attendance, and former Congressman Ron Paul, who was not at the convention, each received one vote.
Later today the delegates will elect a vice presidential nominee, a new party chairman, and a vice chairman.